Fund Elects Suzanne Rivera of Case Western Reserve University to Executive Committee

by | Mar 23, 2017

Additionally, the Fund re-elected Chair Brian Frederick of the Community Foundation of Lorain County and announced 2016 job creation results

CLEVELAND–March 23, 2017–The members of the Fund for Our Economic Future, an alliance of funders dedicated to advancing economic growth and increased access to opportunity in Northeast Ohio, have elected Dr. Suzanne Rivera, vice president for research and technology management and an assistant professor of bioethics at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), as a new at-large representative to the Executive Committee. The election of Dr. Rivera and the re-election of a number of Executive Committee members (detailed below) took place during a quarterly board meeting last week at Cleveland State University.

During the meeting, the Fund also announced the 2016 results of its job creation grantee partners. The Fund is pleased to report that partners BioEnterprise, JumpStart, MAGNET, and Team NEO are on track to meet 2016-2018 jobs, payroll and capital goals. In 2016, these organizations reported a total of 5,856 jobs created (54 percent of the Fund’s three-year goal); $321 million of payroll added (63 percent of goal); and $2 billion of capital attracted (130 percent of goal). Since 2004, the Fund’s grantee partners have helped retain or create more than 24,400 jobs, add nearly $1.1 billion in payroll, and attract just over $6 billion in capital to the region.

Dr. Rivera joins the Executive Committee at a pivotal time, as the Fund works to ensure the economic gains of the last decade-plus are experienced by all people of Northeast Ohio, particularly those who are living in areas of economic distress. “I’m honored to serve the Fund in a leadership capacity and look forward to contributing to its dual mission of Growth & Opportunity,” she said.

In addition to her university duties, Dr. Rivera serves on the national board of the Council on Governmental Relations. She also has served on the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections and on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Human Studies Review Board. Prior to CWRU, Dr. Rivera had university appointments at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and at the University of California-Irvine.

Additionally, Fund members re-elected Chair Brian Frederick, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Lorain County, and Vice Chair Mark Samolczyk, president and CEO of Stark Community Foundation. Earlier this month, Frederick announced he would retire from the Community Foundation at the end of 2017, after 19 years at the helm. The Fund’s Nominating and Personnel Committee recommended he stay on as chair through this transition, and Fund members overwhelming supported his re-election.

“I am committed to doing what is best for the Fund and I look forward to the work ahead,” he said.

The Fund’s 17-person Executive Committee is comprised of elected officers, committee chairs and initiative leaders, large funders, and four at-large representatives. Steve Millard, executive vice president of product, foundation and small business initiatives at the Greater Cleveland Partnership, was re-elected as an at-large representative. Several Fund members were also reappointed to one-year terms as officers and standing committee chairs. These included:

  • President – Brad Whitehead
  • Vice President – Robert Jaquay, The George Gund Foundation
  • Treasurer – William LaPlace, Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust
  • Secretary – Thomas Wagner, The Bruening Foundation
  • Chair, Finance Committee – William LaPlace, Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust
  • Chair, Member Engagement and Development Committee – William R. Seelbach, The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation
  • Chair, Nominating and Personnel Committee – Adam Briggs, Briggs Financial Group
  • Chair, Evaluation and Resource Allocation Committee – Kirstin Toth, GAR Foundation

The Executive Committee oversees the implementation of the Fund’s strategy and the activities of staff, while decisions around specific actions of the Fund and how resources are deployed are made by the full voting membership, those organizations and individuals who give a minimum of $100,000 over three years. There are currently 37 voting members.

About the Fund for Our Economic Future

The Fund for Our Economic Future is an alliance of funders — foundations, corporations, universities, health care systems, business and civic associations, government entities, and individuals — who pool their resources and know-how to advance economic growth and increased access to opportunity for the people of Northeast Ohio through improved job creation, job preparation and job access, an approach called Growth & Opportunity. The Fund advances its Growth & Opportunity mission by building shared community commitment, supporting high-impact collaborations and marshalling strategic funding. Since its founding in 2004, the Fund has raised more than $100 million for its efforts, which have helped retain or create more than 24,400 jobs, add nearly $1.1 billion in payroll, and attract just over $6 billion in capital to Northeast Ohio.

Media Contact

Sara McCarthy
Director of Communications
Fund for Our Economic Future